Semi-Permanent Autonomous Zone


Christiania, a squatters' settlement at an abandoned Copenhagen military base, has a reputation in some quarters as a living example of applied anarchism. Friends who have visited the place have a somewhat less romantic view: they tell me it exists somewhere on the continuum between democracy and potocracy (n: rule by a mostly benign assortment of pot dealers). Either way, I'm sorry to learn that the Danish government is making plans, yet again, to kill it.

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  1. What a shame they are going to close it.

    So they have a goverment half way between democracy and rule by pot dealers. Evidently, the squatters read our posts on this comment board, averaged 'em out, and tried to build a city around the result. Too bad they are getting evicted - I was looking forward to their declaration of statehood and eventual admission into the WTO and the UN.

  2. I've been to Christiana, and while generally sympathetic to the attitude and free-living of those habitating there, it is more like a squatter's camp of the troublesome variety we had here in the East Village of New York City a decade back than a utopia. I think Christiana is a very adequate example of the *absence* of property rights and the grime, grum, and crime that result.

  3. I fail to see why Libertarians should be saddened by a property owner exercising his/her/it's rights over a given piece of land. Isn't that all the Danish government is doing?

  4. Sounds like an interesting opportunity to apply Hernando De Soto's ideas to an industrialized location. Someone posted a few days ago on the wisdom of putting sidewalks where people have worn paths through the grass. Well, here we are.

  5. nm156:

    You are correct. The Danish state gave them the right to borrow the land ? not rent it ? in 1989. The Danish state is now threatening to stop allowing them to use the land unless they only use it for specific purposes.

    This is not significantly different from my loaning my neighbor a chain-saw to cut down a tree and discovering that he is using it to chop cars. I don't really want my chain saw used on metal, nor do I want my property used for purposes which violate my own personal ethics.

    Maybe the grunge could take some of that $1.3M/yr they are making from selling drugs and buy a little crack house of their own.

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